I took this with a second hand, grade C Canon A810 camera I got for £12 looking thru the eyepiece of my Nextar 4SE. Capture of 54x 30sec videos done in CHDK-PTP, stacking in AviStack, stitched in MS ICE and polished in Paint.NET.
These images were taken using my Canon SX530HS with its zoom set to 100x (2400mm EFL). Capture was controlled by CHDK AstroKam and autoguiding by DSSR. Best 500 of 1000 jpegs were cropped in PIPP, stacked in AS3! and wavelets in Registax.
The image above was captured using my SX530HS at 50x zoom on a standard tripod. The camera was running a CHDK script which locked it in continuous shooting mode to capture 1400 frames over 17 minutes. All frames were ISO100, f6.5 and 1/250s with autofocus on. I needed to nudge the camera now and then to keep the moon on screen.
Grayscaled and cropped in PIPP, stacked in AS!3 (75% best), wavelets in Registax6 and polished in MS Photos. Not as detailed as my previous 100x shots but much more convenient to capture. I can just pop out when I see a gap in the clouds. Next stop – try same method on the Sun.
And here is another captured in 15 minutes using the method above.
Below is a shot of the Moon I took with my amazing little Canon SX530HS camera.
This was made from 400 jpegs shot at 100x zoom, ISO100, 1/160s, f6.5, AF-on which were captured in CHDK AstroKam. PIPP then grayscaled and culled this to 327 images based on brightness which were stacked in AS!3. Wavelets were applied in Registax 6 and final processing in MS Photos.
I also did some captures with jpegs at 50x zoom and 60sec videos at 100x and 200x zoom to discover the best resulting image. Below are crops of each method and I decided that 100x jpegs are the way to go in future.
And here is my latest Moon shot with my SX530HS at 100x zoom.
I just shot this with my Canon SX530HS at 200x zoom.
15x 60sec video clips captured in CHDK AstroKam, grayscaled in Virtualdub, processed in AviStack, stiched in ICE and inverted in Paint.NET. Focus was a bit off but still not bad for a second hand camera with no scope.
Just shot this on the 10th February with my 1/4″ DMK camera and DSSR’s automatic mosaic module. Stacked in Avistack, stitched in ICE and post processed in Krita. Click to see the full size image.
Below is the DSSR mosaic preview window that lets you monitor mosaic progress. The blue tiles were sky which DSSR automatically skipped to save time – total time taken was 45 minutes. The Moon is egg shaped here because I used a vertical overlap of 50% and a horizontal overlap of 30% to ensure a good stitch in ICE.
Microsoft have just released an update to their Image Composite Editor (ICE). I gave it a quick try on my last set of lunar mosaic tiles and it looks like a much nicer package. In particular, the export to disk is now almost instantaneous. Download the 64bit version here.
This was shot with my 5.5″ mak – DMK21 – HEQ5 Pro combo.
The image was made up of 50 video files which were automatically captured by DSSR . The whole capture process only took 23 minutes.
AviStack then processed the videos in batch mode and ICE was used to produce the final mosaic.
This tutorial shows how to use DFM and DSSR to automatically capture lunar (and solar) mosaics and how to process them into a final image. I used a Nexstar 4SE OTA on a HEQ5 Pro with a DMK21 camera for this tutorial.
First off, set up your scope and mount and make sure that DSSR has the correct FOV values in its telescope settings page. Let your scope cool down to ambient and then focus using DFM. Then capture your mosaics using DSSR as shown. DSSR will generate a preview image for each mosaic like this one below.
The blue tiles were dark sky which DSSR automatically skipped but you can see some tiles which are totally black or just have a sliver of Moon on them. We need to remove these before the next processing stage or they will crash the stacking programme. You could do this manually but this is very time consuming, especially for very large numbers of videos.
Luckily, Andrew Cool of SkippySky has produced a great app called AS2_Cull_Movies which will do this for you. You tell it where your videos are stored and what percentage of each video should be above a certain brightness threshold. I used 20% and a brightness threshold of 5. The app then checks each video and moves any rejects into a separate folder (or optionally changes their file extension). You can then move onto the video processing stage.
I use AviStack to process my videos into very sharp images. First, load all the videos from your DSSR video folder and select one of them with prominent features like craters or mountains. Change your settings to Processing>All automatic (except post processing) and Update display>None. Adjust the wavelets and other settings to give the best and sharpest image and process that single video. Remove that video using the red cross and press the Batch Processing button. AviStack will then run through all your remaining videos and produce an image from each.
Finally, open Microsoft ICE and drag all your images onto it. ICE will then stitch your mosaic together and you can then export it to disk. A final edit in your image editor of choice (I use GIMP) will give you an image like below. Compare this image with the shimmering videos in the video above.